PC-BSD 10.0.3: An alternative to desktop Linux distros?

In today's open source roundup: PC-BSD 10.0.3 could be an option for Linux users. Plus: Linux 3.17 released, and Steam now has more than 700 Linux games

Image credit: DistroWatch

Linux is a terrific desktop operating system but sometimes it can be fun to use something else, particularly if you have the personality of a distrohopper. PC-BSD is one alternative that's worth considering since it's based on FreeBSD. DistroWatch has a review of PC-BSD 10.0.3 and finds that it compares well to most desktop Linux distributions.

According to DistroWatch:

All in all, I am impressed with what the PC-BSD team has managed to deliver with their 10.0.3 release. The project has taken on additional polish with the last few releases. The graphical front ends look nicer, some bugs I spotted in previous releases (especially with Life Preserver) have been fixed and the way ZFS integrates with the other PC-BSD tools was very useful to me.

There are a lot of great features in this release I would love to see ported to Linux and there were no serious problems during my trial, beyond the video driver issue I was able to work around. I definitely recommend giving PC-BSD a try, it offers a great deal of power in an attractive package.

More at DistroWatch

I haven't used PC-BSD in ages, but I'm very glad to read that the developers have kept improving it. It might be time to download it and give it a spin in VirtualBox to check out the recent changes. While it's not something I'd probably use on a regular basis, it definitely appeals to the distrohopper in me.

You can get more information from the official PC-BSD site, and you can download PC-BSD 10.0.3 to check it out. Please note that the ISO file is about 3.3 GB so it may take a while to download. Be sure to visit the PC-BSD support page if you run into any problems installing or using it on your computer, and see the PC-BSD documentation page if you want to read up on it before doing an install.

Linux kernel 3.17 released

Phoronix reports that Linux kernel 3.17 has been released by Linus Torvalds.

According to Phoronix:

After a calm week when Linux 3.17 was extended by one week, Linus Torvalds happily released the Linux 3.17 kernel a few minutes ago. Linux 3.17 is out in all of its glory and due to Torvalds' travel schedule the Linux 3.18 merge window will be open for about three weeks.

Linux 3.17 is a big improvement and brings a ton of great features like working AMD Radeon R9 290 support, Xbox One controller support, DMA-BUF cross-device synchronization, a lot of ARM hardware improvements, free-fall support for Toshiba laptops, Intel Braswell and Cherry Trail enablement work, EFI Xen Dom0 boot support, file-system improvements, and much more. Linux 3.17 is a very exciting update!

More at Phoronix

You can read Linus' announcement, and also read the reaction thread on Reddit. OMG Ubuntu! also has an overview of what's new in Linux 3.17.

More than 700 Linux games on Steam

GamingOnLinux reports that there are now more than seven hundred Linux games available on Steam.

According to GamingOnLinux:

I remember the days of old when "Linux has no games!" was a common argument against using it. Now with developers flocking to put Linux versions of games up on Steam we are seeing over 700!

This number will keep on rising as Linux becomes a force to be reckoned with, and as more bigger developers get porting ready for Valve's highly anticipated Steam Machines.

More at GamingOnLinux

Wow, that's an amazing number of games! Who'd have thought we'd ever see that many available for Linux in our lifetimes? Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming about all this happening.

You can see a list of Linux games on the SteamDB page, and you can browse through Linux games in the Steam store to see new releases, top sellers and specials.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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